Ph.D. with Human Factors/Ergonomics Focus

Course Requirements

Core Group – all courses in this group must be taken

Domain Requirements – a minimum of four courses must be taken from this group

Other Human Factors-related Electives – a minimum of three courses must be taken from other human factors courses such as:

Grade Point Average Requirements

A grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (C) or higher must be achieved in each of the above courses with the student averaging a GPA of 3.33 (B +) or higher in the courses.

Ph.D. Candidacy Exam

The candidacy exam can be taken only after students complete at least eight courses in the four above-listed groups, including the three courses in the core group, and meeting the GPA requirements. The exam has two components: a take-home written exam and an oral exam. A student is expected to pass both of these components in order to successfully pass the candidacy exam. The process will be as follows:

  • Take-home exam: Each student will answer four questions, which includes a minimum of three questions in the Human Factors and Ergonomics area. One of the following outcomes will be the result of the evaluation for each student:
    • Pass
    • Fail: If this is the first time that the student has not passed, the faculty should provide feedback as to how the student should better prepare for the exam, if they think that the student can successfully pass the exam with additional preparation, or ask the student to leave the program, if they think it is in the student’s best interest do so.

If the student fails the exam for a second time, the student must leave the program.

  • Oral exam: Students that pass the written exam will be permitted to take the oral portion of the exam. Each student will be asked to make a 15-minute presentation of his/her potential Ph.D. topic. A four-person committee in the Human Factors and Ergonomics area will meet and vote on the student presentation. One of the following outcomes will be the result of the evaluation for each student:
    • Pass: A minimum of three ‘yes’ votes is required to pass.
    • Fail: If this is the first time the student has taken the oral exam, the faculty should provide feedback as to how the student should better prepare for the exam, if they think that the student can successfully pass the exam with additional preparation, or ask the student to leave the program, if they think it is in the student’s best interest do so.

If the student fails the oral exam for a second time, the student must leave the program.

If Student Passes the Candidacy Examination

The Graduate School will be notified of the names of those who pass the candidacy examination. In addition, the student can officially select an adviser and other members of his/her doctoral committee, after passing the English Proficiency Examination. Informal selection of an adviser can be done at any time after the student starts his/her graduate program.

If Student Fails the Candidacy Examination

A student is allowed to take the candidacy examination only two times. No student will be permitted to continue in the Ph.D. program after failing the examination twice.

Please note: It is urged that the comprehensive examination is taken as soon as possible after passing the candidacy examination and the English Proficiency Examination

It is strongly recommended that students schedule the Comprehensive Examination within 18 months after passing the candidacy examination.

Doctoral Committee

English Proficiency Examination

Comprehensive Examination

Dissertation Requirements

Final Defense

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About

Home of the first established industrial engineering program in the world, the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) at Penn State has made a name for itself in the engineering industry through its storied tradition of unparalleled excellence and innovation in research, education, and outreach.

We are Innovators. We are Makers. We are Excellence in Engineering. We are Penn State IME.

The Harold and Inge Marcus Department of
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

310 Leonhard Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-7601

FAX: 814-863-4745